November 25, 2012, WINNIPEG (ISN) – The unranked Winnipeg Wesmen upset the No. 2 ranked Trinity Western Spartans 3-1 (25-22, 25-16, 27-29, 25-15) Friday evening at the Duckworth Centre.
After the Spartans took a 22-17 lead in the first set, the Wesmen rallied to score eight straight points to win the set and, as TWU coach Ben Josephson put it, “that was the game.”
“After that, it was like trying to stop a locomotive,” Josephson went on to say. “They were feeling it. They sensed blood in the water and they didn’t let us off the hook.”
Trinity Western was able to win the third set but on this night that was all it could muster as Winnipeg earned a decisive victory.
The Spartans saw their seven-match winning streak come to an end as they dropped to 7-2 on the season. With the win, Winnipeg evened its record at 4-4.
“Casey Schouten led the Wesmen with a match-high 18 kills and three service aces. Tom Douglas-Powell had a solid match finishing with 14 kills. Brendan Black had 11 kills and seven blocks. Libero Riley Delavau led Winnipeg in digs with 14.
Steven Marshall (Abbotsford, B.C.) led the Spartans with 15 kills. Nick Del Bianco (Surrey, B.C.) added 10 kills. Tyler Koslowsky (Abbotsford) led the Spartans with 16 digs while setter Scott Plocktis (Kelowna, B.C.) had a team-high 33 assists.
“Hopefully this is a good lesson for us that you can’t start slow and you can’t give up big leads,” Josephson said. “If you do that in our league, anybody can beat you. Winnipeg was a hungry team in their own gym and they caught us. Even though we made some great plays in the third set, we didn’t have enough to beat them tonight. They wanted it more than we did.”
The hometown Wesmen gained the advantage early on in the opening set, jumping out to a 16-13 lead at the technical timeout. The break seemed to inspire the Spartans, who went on to reel off five straight points, including a pair of kills by Marshall to hold a 18-16 lead. The Spartans continued to roll and looked to be on the verge of winning the set leading 22-17 when things went downhill. Winnipeg, led by a pair of service aces by Ty Loewen and two big kills by Douglas-Powell went on a 8-0 run to win the opening set 25-22.
Winnipeg carried its momentum into the second set leading 16-9 at the technical break and continued to put pressure on the Spartans throughout the set. Winnipeg took control of the match winning the second set 25-16.
In the third set, Winnipeg held the lead for the majority of the opening stages and hung on to a slim 16-14 lead at the break. The teams exchanged points all the way to 24-22 in Winnipeg’s favor and a straight sets victory appeared on the horizon. A service error followed by a Wesmen attack error tied the game at 24-24. The battle continued to 27-27 when the Spartans scored the final two points to win the set 29-27.
However, the Wesmen would not be denied in the fourth set. They led throughout, on their way to a 25-15 win to close out the match and the upset win.
Game Notes: TWU hit. 129 as a team compared to Winnipeg’s .229…Winnipeg had a 10-9 advantage in blocks…Winnipeg had 8 aces to TWU’s 2…TWU was playing without middle Dan Jansen Van Doorn.